Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bactrian Camel

This one of my favorite pictures - a Mongolian girl and her camel laughing together. Her camel is a Bactrian camel. The Bactrian camel has 2 humps while the Dromedary has one hump. The Bactrian camel lives in Turkey, Mongolia, China, Russia, Iran and Afghanistan. The Bactrian camel is thought to have been domesticated (independently of the dromedary) sometime before 2500 BC probably in northern Iran, Northeast Afghanistan or southwestern Turkestan. 

In October 2002, the estimated 800 remaining in the wild in northwest China and Mongolia were classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is presently restricted in the wild to remote regions of the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts of Mongolia and Xinjiang. A small number of wild Bactrian camels still roam the Mangystau Province of southwest Kazakhstan.

As of the 1980s, a complete range of fossils suggests the first camelids appeared in North America about 30 million years ago, had a relatively small body mass and were adapted to warm climates. By the early Pleistocene (about 2 million years ago), they had already evolved into a form similar to the current Bactrian camel, and many individuals permanently migrated to the opposite end of the Bering Strait in an abrupt fashion, probably as a response to the advancing ice age. The remaining related types of American camelids are now only in South America. These include the Alpaca, Vicuna, LLama, and Guanaco.

Pure camel hair, frequently used for coats, is gathered when camels molt in warmer seasons. This undercoat is very soft, and is separated from the dense, coarse guard hair for cloth use.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks a really interesting post. I hope they do more to protect wild camels.